What’s your why?  What gets you out of bed in the morning, pushes you to run that extra mile, do the things you do?

I love running races, feeling healthy, wearing smaller clothes, all of those things.  They challenge me, scare me, and force me to push myself. However, those things are not my “why”.  I didn’t originally decide to lose weight for a race, I did it for my health and my family.  My son is very active and always on the go.  Alex always wanted to play catch, do this, do that but I didn’t have the energy or stamina to keep up with him.  Now I can push myself and him; we did a trail race together in June and I came away with the Koelle Racing trophy, a cheesy little award I bought online.  Whenever we race together, the head to head winner takes possession till next time.

This summer we took a family trip to Mount Rushmore area and wound up at Devil’s Tower.  On the path up, he took off running and then started climbing the boulders at the base.  In the past, I would have flinched and called him back down.  This time, though, I took off after him and passed him on the climb.  We got a couple hundred feet up the side and both paused, looking out over the valley.  The views were amazing; we were laughing and having fun.  As we drove back to our rental house, I thought about what had happened.  Two years ago I couldn’t have physically done those things.  One year ago I would have been scared to death one of us would slip and get hurt, either going up or coming back down.  This time, I saw a fun challenge and met it head-on.  The next day, while the rest of the family stayed back at the house, the two of us went zip-lining.  Again, I wouldn’t have done that before – hell, I couldn’t have as they had a weight max.  It was a great time, just the two of us flying around over the valley.

Alex is about to turn 13 and, like most teenagers, pulls away from us at times.  These experiences are that much more precious because I know they are going to be more rare.  My own father died when I was 3; Mom remarried a good man, a hard worker who loved us as his own, but we never really had a lot in common.  I was not athletic or active as a kid, so I wouldn’t have been into doing this with him even if he was.  Again, that made this time with Alex that much more special.  As the week continued we went through a cave, played catch in the yard, and paddle-boarded in a mountain lake.  Things weren’t always rosy, but it was a terrific trip all in all.  Without the life changes I’ve made, I would never have been able to do all those things!

So what’s your why?  Take a moment and consider what drives you, and what you want to achieve around that.  Then go find a way to make it happen!  Climb, run, study, whatever it takes to get you there.  Ask for help when you need it – but never ever stop moving forward.  When there is a why, there is a way.

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

I used to think my dream vacation was sitting on a beach somewhere.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m still 100% down with Hawaii!  But a lot of the trips we’ve taken this summer have tied in with races and outdoor activities.  We even did our own Spartan vacation to the giant mud pit that was the Chicago Super!  I’m sure we will get back to Maui at some point with Alex, and when we do there will be hiking, climbing, maybe even a bike ride down Haleakala.  What’s your favorite “adventure” trip?  Where would you like to go?  Let me know in the comments!

What’s Next??

I’ve got a fundraiser 5k for the fight against brain cancer August 26.  September 8 is the Spartan Beast in Indiana to complete my second Trifecta.  Then September 16 is the Dot to Dot 10k to fight pediatric brain tumors.  Two years ago, that was my first 5k after getting myself moving; last year I did the 10k.  Feel free to contribute to these wonderful charities, or any others that you support.  Of course, there is always 1DOSF.org, our own charity to help people beat the expenses of getting healthy and avoid the costs of NOT getting healthy.